Media and Reviews


Korean Slang, Invective & Euphemism– the Insider’s guiderats tail_full_cover_cs6_0102
An Irreverent look at Language within Culture

Get ‘street’ with A Rat’s Tail– Learn what the kids are really saying, all the Korean they will never teach you in class.
Korean is rich with the dynamic linguistic expressions and freshly coined language. A Rat’s Tail dives into the intricacies of modern Korean slang introducing the hip, hot, spicy and sexual, the irreverent and inspiring, the cultural, crass and comical.
This is the Korean not covered in the language books, full of color and infused with philosophy. With A Rat’s Tail in hand, you can impress others with your verbal acumen as you complement their fashion sense, dish out dirty words, or text up a storm, while you gain insight into the mind and culture of the Korean people.

Get the lingo on:

  • expressions so necessary they’re like rice
  • a little something on the side
  • stuff to say (and do) while drinking
  • spicy language and swearing
  • something sexy to say
  • what they say in the halls, not the classroom!
  • Konglish & more

Get the Straight Scoop with explanations of uncommon words and unusual usage.
Culturally Speaking – get the skinny on how Koreans think, speak or act.
Plus how to pick up, break up, make up, or get down and dirty.
Find out who’s abusing you and how to talk about someone behind their back.

“This book is the bomb!” —Mr. Kim 
“A must read for Koreans and foreigners alike!” —Mr. Park 
“Shockingly fun!” —Mr. Lee 
“Great bathroom reading!” —another Mr. Lee (go there if you dare)

Author Bios
Peter N. Liptak lives and writes in Seoul, Korea. An avid traveler and poet, Peter draws on Korea’s people, language and culture as a source of inspiration, linguistic and otherwise. Keen on dialect and borrowed words in language, Peter did his MA in Korean Studies at Yonsei University. Catch up with Peter and his musings at or his adventures at
Siwoo Lee – A young philosopher who studies international management at KyungHee University, Siwoo Lee has taken a profound interest in the symbolism of language, combined with his fascination with foreign tongues and his sophisticated command of slang, has led him to delve into the world of A Rat’s Tail.

Find it at

RAT’S TAIL Reviews

With witty set-ups, tongue-in-cheek humor and an arsenal of contemporary Korean slang, authors Peter Liptak and Siwoo Lee present a lively, entertaining and informative read on the colorfully adulterated usage of modern Korean slang. As Much As a Rat’s Tail is a fun read that will keep the reader hooked for a single reading.”

Bill Drucker

Korean Quarterly

A dictionary of racy, zany, hilarious Korean slang (with incredibly funny mini dialogues) to understand Korean pop culture.

Michael A. Robson

Things you’ll never learn in Rosetta Stone … … a godsend for those learning Korean slang.

B. Bautista

Bust these lines on your new Korean friends and watch their jaws drop!

Luke Doyle

Forget the textbooks! This is what the kids are REALLY saying on the streets.


Editorial Reviews

JUNE 27, 2015


Hello guys! I know it has been really long, in fact an entire year since I last posted anything on this blog and I do apologize for that. When I first started this space, I knew that someday such a long hiatus will come, and with school and an overseas internship opportunity that I was lucky to get, the hiatus began since last May. I was posted to Shanghai for a 5 months long internship from January 2015 till end May, and only recently came back to Singapore.

So, as a comeback to my Korean learning journey, which I hope will be persistent once I settle down with graduation, my job, and moving houses, I will be bringing you guys a new book review today. Well, technically, it’s not a new book, but rather a new edition of a book many readers of this space would be familiar with, given that it is one of the most popular posts on Seoul Suitcase. I have received many positive feedback about the review and that many of you are keen on purchasing it after reading my review.

In April, I was surprised to receive an email from the author of “As much as a Rat’s Tail: Korean Slang”, Peter Liptak himself, stating that he loved my first review of his book and asked if I was interested to do another review for the second edition of the book. which comes in a brand new cover, 60 new pages and tons of updates within. As I have previously done a review on the first edition, this post will be focused on the new updates that can be found in the newest edition of “As much as a Rat’s Tail: Korean Slang”.

The review of the first edition can be found here. So let’s start with the new updates you can find in the second edition of As Much As A Rat’s Tail: Korean Slang.

쥐꼬리만큼 Old and New


The first edition came in a white cover with a really tame looking mouse on it, but now the book has got a whole new look with a black and red theme, and its resident mascot, the mouse, donng the whole Gangnam style look. In the second edition, a new content page is also added in, and you can the effort that is placed into making it interesting for readers. Korean Slang: 쥐꼬리만큼 2nd Edition in hand

쥐꼬리만큼 Table of Contents


The second edition is updated with the latest slang, such as Gangnam Style, a term made famous in 2012 by Psy, and is used to refer to a lifestyle associated with those who lived in Gangnam District in Seoul. Be sure to catch up with the latest slang through this new book. In comparison to the old edition, the new edition comes with a “Rat Ratings” on top right corner of each page, indicating the overall social acceptability of each slang. One rat indicates that this slang is mild and can be used in polite conversation, and as the number of rats increase, one should be careful about how and when he/she should use the slang.

In the new edition, I also noticed more illustration being added into the pages. 쥐꼬리만큼 Gangnam Style

The go-ding dance

쥐꼬리만큼 culturally speaking


The index has been greatly improved as compared to the one in the old edition, whereby the content was categorized according to the Hangul Alphabet system. In the new edition, the Index is categorized into “Subject”, “The Big List of Slang” and “Slang Supplemental”, making it easy for readers to search for the slang they want to learn about.

쥐꼬리만큼 Subject Index

My overall opinion: So I have listed out the new updates you can find in the second edition of “As much as a Rat’s Tail: Korean Slang”, and of course you are able to read up on the previous review in the link above. Like what I have said before, this book is a self–enrichment for Korean learners who wants to gain a deeper insight into the Korean language, and to add a punch of fun in your learning. “As much as a Rat’s Tail: Korean Slang” has always been one of my favourite enrichment book when it comes to learning Korean, so for those who have yet to get yourself a copy, be sure to check it out. And for those who already had the first edition, if you love the book like I do, you can too update yourself with a new copy and impress your friends with your up-to-date badass korean slang.

Where to get it: You can purchase this book from TwoChois, Amazon
More about Peter Liptak and his book “As much as a Rat’s Tail: Korean Slang” can be found in the below links:
Twitter: /Sharmaine.

We received a detailed review from 네이버블로그 꽃피는 산골. Check out her fabulous blog!


a detailed review from the Naver blog 네이버블로그 꽃피는 산골

a detailed review from the Naver blog 네이버블로그 꽃피는 산골

「Korean Slang : As much as A Rat’s Tail/쥐꼬리만큼」, Peter N. Liptak and Siwoo Lee, Exile press(2015) Exile press에서 출판된 「Korean Slang : As much as A Rat’s Tail/쥐꼬리만큼」을 들고 어떤 입장에서, 어떻게 읽어야 할지 고민을 합니다. 「Korean Slang」은 영어를 공부했지만 영어가 덜 능숙한 한국인 화자에게도, 신세대말을 모르는 한국 아줌마에게도, 한국어 교육을 10년 정도한 한국인 교사에게도 재미있는 책입니다. 영어에 충분히 익숙하지 않은 한국인으로 「Korean Slang」을 보면 한국어와 관련 사항을 영어로 설명했기 때문에 영어 공부를 할 수 있어 좋습니다. 다소 생소한 단어가 나오더라도 한국어 정보를 이미 알고 있기 때문에 단어의 뜻이나 쓰임을 추측할 수 있습니다. 「Korean Slang」를 읽으면 30대 한국어 화자이지만 제가 사용하지 않는 한국어들을 알 수 있어 재미있습니다. 저보다 젊은 사람들은 그렇게 사용하는가 보다 하면서 피식 웃음도 납니다. GeunHye가 아버지 무덤에 가서 대통령이 됐다는 사실을 장황하게 늘어 놓을 때, 무덤에서 “아아아아아아아안무우우우우우우울” 하고 대답한 설정이 익살스럽습니다. 한국어 교사로서 이 책을 보면, 주교재로 사용하기에는 어렵지만 부교재로 사용하기 좋습니다. 한국어 교육 현장에는 나이 많는 여성이 많은 탓에 한국어 중에서도 점잖은 체 하는 여성어를 주로 교육합니다. 한국어를 공부하는 젊은 학생들이나 생생한 한국어를 공부하고 싶은 학생들에게 「Korean Slang」은 주교재 이상의 흥미를 보일 겁니다. 한국어 수업 중에 활용하면 수업을 재미있게 할 수 있을 겁니다. 수업 중에 비속어 동사나 형용사를 학습할 때은, 굳어진 표현인지 활용가능한 표현인지를 설명해야 할 겁니다. ‘꼴았다’, ‘쩐다’ 등의 단어는 굳어진 표현이라 활용이 불가하지만 ‘갈구다’, ‘삽질하다’ 등의 단어는 어느 정도 활용이 가능합니다. 또한 단어의 어원이나 사용처 등은 한국어 자체에 대한 흥미가 있는 학습자에게는 도움이 되겠지만 수업 중에는 설명하지 않는 것이 좋습니다. 수업에서 사용하려고 선택한 단어가 사투리인지 비속어인지 판단을 해야 할 것이고, 단어의 설명이 바른지에 대해서도 충분히 검토를 하는 것이 좋을 것 같습니다. 밥과 반찬, 술이나 커피로 사용 빈도나 어휘의 출처를 설명하는데 아직은 분류가 완벽해 보이지는 않습니다. ‘돌싱’은 술을 마실 때보다는 사적인 자리에서 편하게 사용하는 말로 ‘single’이라는 영어에서 왔기 때문에 커피를 두는 것이 좋아 보입니다. ‘맛이 갔다’도 술을 마시지 않아도 사용 가능하고 ‘쌍수’는 김치단지를 옆에 두어 상스럽거나 사용하기 껄끄러운 말로 표시했는데, 쌍수 정도는 가벼운 시술로 생각하기 때문에 김치단지를 옆에 둘 필요는 없는 듯합니다. Slang은 이미 공식적인 자리에서는 사용하기 어려운 단어인데,  김치단지를 은어나 비속어 중에서도 더 상스러운 말을 분류하는 데 사용했어야 했나 하는 아쉬움도 남습니다. 한국어 교육에 도움이 될 만한 책을 보고 직업병이 도졌습니다. 가볍게 읽기에 재미있는 「Korean Slang」을 교재로 분석하고 실제 수업에서 어떻게 사용해야 할 거라고 머리 속에서 구상하는 것을 보면 직업병은 난치병인 모양입니다. 「Korean Slang」을 읽고 몇 가지 문제점을 지적했지만, 제가 다시 한국어 교육을 하게 된다면 수업 시간에 유용하게 사용될 교재일 겁니다. She makes some valid points and we’ll be making changes for the next printing. Thanks again for the detailed look and the insightful review!


A Rat’s Tail is loaded with the latest lowbrow lyricism Hangul has to offer, with readable ruminations regarding radical roots revealing the underbelly of contemporary Korean from the foul to the sublime.


As much as a Rat’s Tail

by Peter Liptak and Siwoo Lee reviewed by Drake Baer Slang hurries faster than a late night text message, and whether you’re native, gy- opo or foreigner, As Much as a Rat’s Tail is loaded with the latest low-brow lyricism Hangul has to offer.The portable, well-bound paperback is ready to make a home in your pack or on your bookshelf, ready to be read in pieces or cover to cover. With helpful icons indexing ddokboki (spicey!) for sex-related terms, soju for (im)proper drinking etiquette and sushi for Japanese imports, the guide pops with bright design and readable ruminations regarding an entry’s radical roots revealing the underbelly of contemporary Korean.

The next time you’re at the bar and that cute girl says nui-ddong geulk-da – you’ll understand she’s saying you think your poop is thick.

Entertainingly useful entries range from the foul to the sublime.The next time you’re at the bar and that cute girl says nui-ddong geulk-da – you’ll understand she’s saying you think your poop is thick; or, if there’s magic between you, it might be cheot nun, the first snow, referring to love at first sight.
Don’t be a nong-ddaeng-i (do-little or dawdler), pick up Rat’s Tail and pump up your speech with fresh avor. One caveat: if you’re an English teacher, you might want to keep it out of your classroom. As Much As a Rat’s Tail: Korean Slang, An Irreverent Look at Language within Culture is available at KyoboTwoChois or Amazon.

By John Redmond

Peter Liptak and Siwoo Lee, authors of the book on Korean slang “As Much As A Rat’s Tail,” have announced the launch of their “Kickstarter” campaign.

It aims to share the intricacies of Korean slang and culture not found in any textbooks by not only getting the newly edited second edition published, but also by adding an e-book version on May 9.

“Every language desperately needs this kind of book; the kind of book that teaches how people really use the language. And while slang is not entirely academic, it is far more communicative and useful for engaging in a new language than the stilted artificial textbooks normally stuffed down the throats of learners,” said Liptak.

“With the goal of teaching the wonderfully versatile and totally day-to-day relevant slang that will allow people to be welcomed into the culture, we are delivering the secrets of the street; the true language of Seoul; and helping people understand how Koreans think, act and speak,” he said.


The first edition of “As Much As A Rat’s Tail” began to take shape in 2003, and within two years, the authors had developed a concept that was really a first in Korea.

But since slang changes dramatically over even a short time, and the cross-cultural pollination of Western and Korean pop culture has accelerated exponentially since 2003.

“So we decided that a major update was in order; the new edition will have a snappy new cover, updated expressions and overall redesign. We even developed a whole set of flash cards to go along with the book,” Liptak said.

He added, “It’s about the poetry of language; it’s about interpersonal relationships, drinking, smoking, partying, texting, swearing and, well, so much more.”

For more information, visit

Korean slang guide gets revision

After nearly selling out of the first edition of Korean slang guide “As Much as a Rat’s Tail,” authors Peter Liptak and Lee Si-woo are working on an update. 

The revision has ended up being more involved than planned, with 30 pages of new content, a set of new flashcards and revisions of the existing design and content.

They also held a contest for the design of the new cover. Replacing the timid rodent on the first edition is a sunglass-donning street rat, dancing “Gangnam Style.” 

An illustration for the second edition of ‘“As Much as a Rat’s Tail”

“It just spoke to me about Korea, Korean culture and Korean slang,” said Liptak. “It’s a fun way to access the language because of the way that Psy affected the world.”

He said that fun was a key motivator behind choosing the expressions in the book, explaining that they selected those that were interesting, memorable and easy for learners of Korean to use.

“One of the biggest factors besides that it is hopefully recent and whatnot is the piquing of interest, like the title ‘Chwi Kkori Mankeum’ ― it’s not new but it is highly useable.” 

As a situation in which you can use the expression ― which means “a measly amount” ― he gives the familiar example of taxi driver compliments, where foreigners’ ability to give a destination is often rewarded with a compliment on their Korean ability.

“By responding something different than a little bit ― chwi kkori mankeum ― I always get a laugh. So we are looking for that fun factor.”

He got the idea from the dearth of materials at the time that dealt with modern Korean and slang. And still, the main books that do exist are international guides that run largely to a template that is used across many different languages. 

“I found that all of the books for studying Korean were really boring and dry, and none of them were fun at all. None of them were real language either. So I really thought it was necessary to put something out there. And it’s a fun way to learn.”

He said the main books on slang that do exist are international guides that don’t always have a natural feel in Korean.

“This is not a language book in the sense of something that will get you up and running in Korean, but it’s more of an add-on to learn some fun Korean after you’ve gotten started.”

While he has had some objections from Koreans wanting to “keep the language pure,” he said the general reaction to the book has been good.

“If I go to a coffee shop and meet some other foreigners, either they bought the book or know someone who bought the book,” he said. “But there’s always new foreigners coming into Korea already. And with the number of people taking the TOPIK test at 70,000 in April, that’s an awful lot of people.”

Liptak is running a Kickstarter to fund the project. You can find out more about the book and contribute at the “Korean Slang for Your Seoul” Kickstarter page.

By Paul Kerry (

In his new and 3rd book `As much as a Rat’s Tail,’ author Peter Liptak along with Korean coauthor Siwoo Lee take the reader on a humorous journey through Korean slang and common daily expressions. 254 pages of amusing Korean phrases, their meanings, and how to properly use them provide a satiric and sassy glance at the local lingo and culture.

Being entirely bilingual makes the book fun and easy reading for Koreans as well as foreigners living in Korea who probably find themselves in such typical situations as the one below:

간지난다 [gan-ji-nan-da]
look cool or be cool; off the hook

Ganji (간지), Cheju dialectic for hoidae (횃대), which means a coat hanger or clothes rack, is used here to represent a person with a good sense of style as if an example of good style on a clothes rack or mannequin. Literally “off the rack,” but closer to the English slang expression “off the hook.” (Ganji may also come from the Japanese for feeling, as in to make a favorable impression.)

Off the Hook
소윤 Wow, you look ganjinanda. You going somewhere today?
지윤 Ha, ha, my interview’s today so I put some effort into it.
소윤 Wait a minute! Where did you get those clothes?
지윤 Off the hook in your bedroom. Why? You weren’t using it.
소윤 Off my hook? Well, I guess that makes me ganjinanda too.
지윤 That’s “off the hook!”

간지난 놈
SoYoon 너 간지난다! 오늘 어디 가?
JiYoon 하하 오늘 입사면접이 있어서 신경 좀 썼어.
SoYoon 잠깐만! 그 옷들 어디서 났어?
JiYoon 네 침실 안 옷걸이에 걸려 있었어. 왜, 너 이거 안 입잖아?
SoYoon 내 옷걸이에? 음, 그럼 나도 그 옷 입으면 간지나겠다.
JiYoon 그거는 “off the hook!”이다. –PR Magazine, Seoul, October 2009 –This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

The Majors

Barnes and Noble
★★★★★ This book had me in stitches, wonderful insight to the words tea This book had me in stitches, wonderful insight to the words teachers only share in break rooms, I recommend it to everyone learning Korean! I love being able to flip through it and quickly find what I’m looking for, the design makes it easy and fun!
Kyobo Books
Kyobo Books

1s**0 2015-03-12 13:23 5점 만점에 5점 추천1 영문학을 전공했다고 하면 으레 듣게 되는 질문중의 하나가 `영어 잘하시겠네요?`이다. 아..닌데요..대략난감||;; 그럴 때 이렇게 답하면 될 것 같다. `As much as a rat`s tail 쥐꼬리만큼만요?`ㅋㅋ 이 책에는 생생한 표현이 그대로 담아있다는 인상이 강했다. 예전 유행했던 노래가사 중의 하나인 `100m미인`이라는 표현도, `공주병`,`강추`,`대략난감`등등.. 영어도한국어도 재밌게 접근할 수 있어서 `강추`드리고 싶다!

co**ra72 2015-03-18 13:51 5점 만점에 5점 추천1 처음 책을 보고 `한국인이 나보다 얼마나 한국어 표현을 알겠어` 라고 생각했다. 그리고 책을 펴는 순간 놀랐다. 지금까지 쓰지 않았던 표현들이며 심지어는 단어의 어원까지.. 특히 예문을 읽어보면 작가의 유머 센스를 느낄 수 있었다. 실질적으로 많이 쓰는 생활 한국어를 이렇게 책으로 만나 볼수있어서 한국어를 배우는 외국인 뿐만 아니라 한국인에게도 적극 추천한다.

Korean Slang 쥐꼬리만큼 vi**ocube | 2015-04-24 | 추천: 0 | 5점 만점에 5점 제 표지에 강남스타일 + 쥐꼬리가 눈에 띄여서 우연히 손에 들게 되었는데, 딱 맞는 각 상황에서 간혹 영어로 표현할 때 어떻게 표현하고 싶은데, 표현할 방법이 없고 했는데, 간단하게 해결책(?)을 제시해 주는 책이라는 생각이 들었습니다. 예제로 되어 있어서 쉽게 이해할 수 있고, 써먹을 수 있는 Situation이 조만간 오기를 바랍니다. 깜짝 놀라는 표정의 외국인 얼굴을 기대하면서 ㅋㅋ

~~ Korean Slang _As Much As a Rat’s Tail do**lh | 2015-04-18 | 추천: 0 | 5점 만점에 5점 한국 비속어를 다룬 영어책으로 굉장히 신선하다는 느낌을 많이 받은 책이네요. 나름 영어 공부 좀 해보겠다고 다양한 소재의 책들도 만나봤는데 이런 책은 처음이에요. 다른 나라 사람들이 우리나라의 비속어들을 접할 때 사용하면 좋을 것 같다는 생각도 들더라구요. 저는 우리 말의 비속어들을 영어로 변형시키지 않고 그대로 소리나는대로 영어 문장 사이에서 섞어서 쓰는 점이 재미있더라구요. 외국 사람에게 정말 순우리말 같은 것을 영어로 바꿀 수 없어서 어쩔 수 없이 우리말로 쓰는 듯한 기분이 들더라구요. 구라까다라든지 쩐다라는 등의 요즘 젊은 사람들이 많이 쓰는 표현들이 많이 들어있더라구요. 그리고 비속어들을 영어로는 어떻게 표현하는지 그 부분들이 저는 영어 공부에 도움이 될 것 같더라구요. 우리말에서 비속어를 사람들이 많이 쓰고 있긴 하니까 그 부분들을 영어에서는 어떻게 표현하고 있나를 보는 재미가 있더라구요. 만약 외국인 친구가 우리나라 사람들이 흔히 쓰는 비속어를 듣고 무슨 뜻이냐고 물어보면 영어로 설명해줄 수 있을 것 같은 책이에요. 우리 말로 대화가 나와 있어 현실적인 대화의 느낌이 더 납니다. 아래 부분에는 그 대화를 영어로 바꾼 것이 나와 있구요. 다만 아래 대화에서 우리말 비속어를 영어 표현으로 바꾸지 않고 그냥 이야기하고 있어서 저는 그 영어 대화를 다시 완전한 영어 표현으로 바꾼 부분까지 다루었다면 저에게 더 많은 도움이 되겠다 싶더라구요. 비속어를 거의 쓰지 않는 저로서는 오히려 비속어 정리된 책을 통해 비속어를 많이 접하게 된 것 같습니다. 아무튼 우리말의 비속어를 영어로 또는 우리말로 배울 수 있는 흥미로운 책이었습니다

As Much As A Rat’s Tail (Korean Slang) hj**n | 2015-04-18 | 추천: 0 | 5점 만점에 5점 Korean Slang _As Much As a Rat’s TailKorean Slang _As Much As a Rat’s TailAs Much As A Rat’s Tail (Korean Slang) 우리말로 “쥐 꼬리만큼” (한국 은어집)이 이 책의 제목이 되겠다. 우리말 은어, 무슨 재미가 있을까? 쥐꼬리만큼 같은 한국인들은 잘 알고 생활 속에서 쓰지만, 외국인들은 한국말을 배워도 유추가 쉽지 않은 그런 말들을 모아서 책을 만들었다니, 재미가 있을까? 그런데, 그걸 외국인이 했다면 어떨까? 그런 책을 한국인 보라고 만든 게 아니라, 외국인들이 한국어 배울 때 재미 있으라고 만들었다면 말이다. 즉, 이 책은 단순히 한국어 은어를 설명하는 것이 아니라 그 사용 예제와 한국어 표현들도 함께 싣고 있다. 책을 펼치면 우리말 은어가 멋진 서예 글씨체로 등장한다. 그것도 빨간색으로 말이다. 예를 들면, 아래와 같이 간단히 설명할 수 있겠다.

구리다 [gu-ri-da] to be foul, disgusting or ghastly; lack taste 본래, 똥이나 방귀 냄새와 같이 지독한 냄새를 의미하는 말. 요즘은 젊은 사람들 사이에서 어떤 것의 외향이나 행태가 좋지 않을 때 쓰이고 있다.

Originally meaning the smell of dung or methane gas, gurida is used among young people for someone or something that looks and acts poorly, smelly, somewhat shady or even fishy. Similar to the British, “dreadful” or “ghastly”, or the American expressions “that is so foul”, “so gross!” or just plain “godawful!”

뭐 이런 식이다. 나로서는 이 책이 여간 반갑지가 않다. 내가 알고 지내는 몇몇 외국인 친구들에게 이만큼 재미난 이야기 꺼리가 없다. 그냥 이렇게 시작하면 된다. You know some Korean expression like gurida? ||; 그냥 이런 식으로 시작하면 된다. 그러면 이 친구들은 귀를 쫑긋 세우고는 나의 이야기에 집중하기 시작한다. 그러면, 그들도 이와 유사한 자신들의 언어 표현을 이야기하기 시작한다. 가끔은 매우 조심스런 표현들도 무지 많다. 어머니를 두고 맹세하는 그런 표현들은 외국 친구들도 썩 좋아하지 않고 나 또한 그런 오해를 유발하는 짓은 시도하지도 않는다. 그런데, 그런 표현들이 특히 유사하다. 많이 친해지면, 그런 이야기를 하면 서로들 신나게 웃는다. 이 책을 보면서 얼마나 많은 은어들이 21세기에 탄생했는가 하고 느끼게 된다. 요즘 우리나라의 20대들이 언제 이렇게 많은 은어들을 만들었을까 싶을 만큼 그 양에 놀라움을 느끼게 된다. 많은 표현들이 부정적이고 욕 같은 느낌이 강하다. 이 책은 ‘ㄱ’부터 ‘ㅎ’까지 사전처럼 은어들을 구분하였다. 200여개의 은어가 등장하는데, 40대인 내가 아는 은어는 고작 절반의 절반 정도 된다. 나머지는 그저 ‘이게 무슨 뜻일까?’나 ‘아마도 이거겠지!’하고 추측하는 수준이다. 심지어 내가 알고 있던 몇몇 은어의 태생까지 이 책에서 설명해 주어 새로운 재미를 더해 준다. 일본어가 시작이라고 알고 있던 은어 일부가 사실은 일본에도 없는 말들이란 것도 새삼 알게 되었다. 구지 이 서평에서 언급할만한 표현들은 아닌 것 같다. 뭐, 영어 공부하다 지친 십대 친구들에게는 어쩌면 이 책은 재미난 돌파구가 될지도 모르겠다. 자신들의 언어가 외국어에 녹아 있으니 얼마나 반가울까 말이다. 이런 책이 출간될 만큼 많은 외국인들이 한국에 머물면서 한국어를 배우는 현실이 신기하기도 하고 반갑기도 하다. 또한, 이런 것을 책으로 출간하는 젊은 친구들의 시도와 우정(한명의 국내체류 외국인과 그의 한국인 친구가 이 책의 저자들이다)이 산뜻한 느낌을 준다. 출판사는 외국인 것 같다. 일단 독자는 한국인을 대상으로 한 것 같다. 물론 외국어판도 있을 것이라 추측해 본다. 서평에 레알 표현들을 담지 못해 무지 아쉽다. 사실 그런 표현들이 내겐 매우 어색하다.

# 서평 : KOREAN SLANG ni**36th | 2015-04-18 | 추천: 0 | 5점 만점에 4점 한국어를 공부하는 일본인들과 친분을 가지면서 그들의 공부를 도와 주었던 적이 있었다. 그 한국어 교재는 여타 다른 교재들과 다름없이 간단한 대화 형식의 문장들이 나와 있고, 단어와 문법을 설명하고 있었다. 하지만 대화체임에도 대화의 느낌이 전혀 없는, 딱딱한 말투다. 우리가 흔히 사용하지 않는. 우리가 교재를 통해 배우는 언어는 그렇게 기본, 정석일지는 몰라도 대화를 나누기에는 조금 부족한, 어색한 부분이 있다. 그래서 이 책이 탐났나 보다. 나도 영어를 모국어로 쓰는 사람처럼 말을 하고 싶다는 욕심이 있다. 이 책은 정말 놀라울만큼 한국의 비속어에 대해 잘 나와있다. 그리고 어쩌면 영어를 배우고 싶은 한국인 보다는 한국어를 배우고 싶은 외국인에게 더 잘 맞을지도 모르겠다는 생각이 든다. ㄱ부터 ㅎ까지 우리가 자주 쓰고 있는 단어들이 나온다. 그 다음 나오는 Appendix부분. 와우! 놀랍다. DANGER라고 표시되어 있는 건 괜히 그런 것이 아닌가보다. 19세 라는 딱지를 붙여줘야 할 것만 같다. 이런 교재는 처음이라서 친구들한테 나 엄청난 책을 발견했어 라며 말하곤 했다. 완전 영어 초보자인 나에겐 어려운 책이었지만, 문장을 통으로 외운다면 좋을 것 같았다. 단어 따로 외워서 문장을 만드는 게 아니라 나와 있는 문장을 자꾸 읽으면서 입으로 말하는 걸 익숙하게 만든다면 말이다. 한국어를 공부하는 외국인 친구들이 있다면, 선물해 줘도 괜찮지 않을까 싶다. 물론 친한 사이라면 ! 혹시 오해할지도 모르니 말이다. 꼭 19금 이라고 말해주면서 전해주자.

[내 인생의 책] Korean Slang(As Much As a Rat’s Tail)(쥐꼬리만큼) hd**r | 2015-04-18 | 추천: 1 | 5점 만점에 3점 이 책, “Korean Slang-As much as a rat’s tail” 은 제목 그대로 우리말 가운데 ‘비속어’에 대해 설명하고 있는 책이다. 그러니 대상은 우리말을 배우기를 원하는 영어권 외국인이겠다. 책 내지의 책 정보를 보면, 우리나라와 미국 양국의 ISBN 넘버를 받아 출간된 것으로 되어 있으며, 출판사는 미국출판사에서 작업한 것으로 되어 있다. 그러니 책의 대상은 우리말을 배우기를 원하는 영어권 외국인으로 하고 있음을 알 수 있다. 비속어만이 아닌 은어도 상당수 포함되어 있어, 몇몇 단어의 경우는 젊은 감각이 없다면 한국인도 잘 모를 법한 단어도 몇 개 눈에 띈다. 나름 우리의 젊은이들이 많이 사용하는 속어들을 잘 설명하고 있어 우리말을 배우고 싶어 하는 외국인들에게는 도움이 되리라 여겨진다. 그럼에도 아쉬운 점이 없진 않다. 몇몇 설명의 경우, 그 근거가 어디에 있는지 알 수 없는 설명들도 없지 않으며, 잘못된 설명 역시 없지 않다. 예를 든다면, “몽땅”이란 단어에 대한 설명도 그런 예라 할 수 있겠다. “몽땅”이란 단어에 대해 이렇게 설명하고 있다. “이 표현은 ‘모두’의 충청도 지방 사투리에서 유래되었다. 그러나 또한 욕망, 탐욕을 의미하는 ‘몽’이라는 단어와 지구 혹은 대지를 뜻하는 ‘땅’이라는 단어가 결합되어 모든 것을 의미하기도 한다. (또한 짧고 굵은 것을 뜻할 때도 쓰이는데 ‘몽땅연필’을 예로 들 수 있다.”라고 되어 있다. 그런데, “몽땅”이란 단어는 예전부터 사용되어지던 표준어이다. 게다가 ‘몽’과 ‘땅’의 결합이 과연 그러한지는 알 수 없다. 그럴 수도 있겠다. 하지만, 많은 속어를 설명할 때, 이런 식으로 설명하고 있는 경우가 적지 않은데, 과연 그 근거가 맞은 지, 아니면 저자들의 추측에 의한 것인지는 알 수 없다. 게다가 짧은 연필을 ‘몽땅연필’이라 한다고 했는데, 그렇지 않다. 누가 ‘몽땅연필’이라 하는지 모르겠다. 요즘 젊은이들이 그렇게 잘못 발음하는지는 모르겠지만, ‘몽땅연필’이 아닌 ‘몽당연필’이 부른다(게다가 ‘몽당’은 비속어도 아니다). ‘몽땅연필’이라면 모두 연필이란 뜻일까? 이런 식으로 쎈 발음으로 우리의 언어를 변형시켜 접근하는 경우가 이 책에서는 많다. 이것 역시 우리의 언어를 잘못 전하는 나쁜 예가 아닌가 여겨진다. 또한 많은 단어가 성과 관계가 있어, 물론 ‘비속어’라는 단서가 있긴 하지만, 그럼에도 마치 우리 국민들이 사용하는 언어의 관심사가 성문제에 집중해 있는 느낌을 갖게 하는 부작용도 없지 않나 싶다. “만먹다”라는 단어의 경우, 굳이 이것을 우리의 속어라고 해야 할까 싶기도 하다. 왜냐하면, 이 단어는 책에서도 설명하고 있는 것처럼, “맞먹다”의 발음일 뿐이기 때문이다. “너, 나랑 맞먹자는 거냐?”라는 표현에서 그 발음이 ‘만먹자는 거냐?’라는 식으로 발음되는 것이지, “만먹다”라는 속어가 있는 것은 아니기 때문이다. 이것은 속어라기보다 발음 그대로 적은 오용이다. 만일 요즘 젊은이들이 이런 단어인줄 알고 사용한다면 그것은 단어를 모르는 경우이지, 새로운 비속어는 아니리라 여겨진다. 이 책 등장하는 단어들 가운데는 이런 식으로 그저 발음상의 단어들을 새로운 속어인 양 기록하고 있는 단어 역시 적지 않아 아쉬움으로 남는다. 또한, 요즘 젊은이들의 언어기록을 따른다고 한다면, 그것은 속어가 아닌, 그들만의 은어로 접근하여야 하지 않을까? 이런 구분이 없음도 아쉬움으로 남는다. 게다가 우리 언어를 사용함에 있어서 이 책에 실려 있는 단어들을 전혀 사용하지 않고도 무난히 생활하는 분들이 많으리라 여겨질 때, 굳이 외국인의 입장에서 이런 속어를 배울 필요가 있을까 싶기도 한다. 그럼에도 ‘비속어’를 많이 사용하는 내국인들을 상대하는 외국인들이라면 이 책이 대단히 유용하게 사용되어질 것이다. 뿐 만 아니라, 말 그대로 이 책은 ‘비속어’에 대한 책이다. 그러니 그것을 감안하고 접근하면 좋겠다. 상당히 흥미로운 작업임에는 분명하다. 이런 흥미로운 작업을 한 저자들에게 박수를 보낸다.


★★★★★ 5.0 out of 5 stars Things you’ll never learn in Rosetta Stone…
by B. Bautistaon
This book is simply a godsend for those learning Korean slang. I have been studying Korean on my own and have been learning random slang words from my time chatting online. Although I have owned Making Out in Korean: Revised Edition (Making Out Books) for awhile, it doesn’t really give any useful examples of how to use the words. It’s just straight word and definition. However, this book gives real conversations in Korean that include the slang word that it’s trying explain and also includes English translations. What’s also intuitive about this book is that it includes some cultural explanations to some words as well as onomatopoeias that Koreans love to use! Try out this book! You’ll definitely impress your Korean friends. As usual, there are some words in here that should never be used with people you don’t know. However, that’s just common sense stuff. Enjoy!

★★★★★ 5.0 out of 5 stars The real deal
by Luke Doyle
I’ve got a copy of the Korean edition which is fantastic. I’m an English language instructor at a Korean university in Seoul. I’ve used this book as a conversation starter in my classes and the Korean students are amused, shocked & amazed. I’ve often heard exclaimed, “Teacher, you shouldn’t learn these bad words!” Well, red rag to a bull…Anyway, this is the most practical Korean you’ll find in any book about the Korean language. Bust these lines on your new Korean friends and watch their jaws drop at your masterful and deep understanding of their language… Beautiful layout & good organisation, easily accessible information, all the lists you need with all the words you need to know, example phrase usage in sample dialogues (in Korean and in English using the Korean phrase). unlike any other Korean slang books, there are explanations of everything so you can know that you’re using the material right! Very cool guys. Thanks for making this book! I keep it with me at all times now :)

★★★★★ 5.0 out of 5 stars Priceless Handbook for Korean – Hilarious and Brilliant
by Michael A. Robson
I have been through the usual textbooks for Korean learning: I got the Pimsleur Audio course on iTunes; I got some very stiff textbooks at the Incheon Airport Bookstore, I’ve watched many of the hit Korean comedies from the last 10 years (subtitled, obviously), and I even (briefly) joined a Korean language Institute (before they doubled the hourly fee!). So why was I so drawn to this book? Because the author came right out and declared that you really can’t get a handle of Korean life from those stiff old textbooks, that the answers I was looking for are not found through repetition of grammatical structures, but that the culture was a wildly different thing from anything in the West, and would have to be paced through gradually. In other words, slang was part of the education, it was not an optional aspect of language, but integral, and require learning for anyone with even a passing interest in the Korean language. Basically, this book, ostensibly a dictionary of racy, zany, hilarious Korean slang (with mini dialogues for each word, many of which are incredibly funny) was going to be my next step in further understanding Korean pop culture. I insist on using the term `pop culture’ here, because it does a great disservice to thousands of years of Korean history to say that you will more deeply understand it by watching Gangster movies. I wouldn’t dare. That is a very distant mountain I have yet to set foot upon. I want to be very careful here in any `wisdom’ I glean from such a book. To be clear, any book about slang, is obviously going to be geared towards a younger set. Much of the slang is inappropriate, especially in an austere Korean business environment (and yet, ironically, totally perfect, in a 3 hour drunken Korean Karaoke session, also integral to Business life). There is a time and a place for such language. And that is, casual conversation. Very casual. You can actually get into trouble for being too stiff and boring (eg. talking like they do in my textbooks), and that is, people won’t really like you, they’ll think of you as a robot, with no personality. And there’s a risk of getting too `colourful’ with this language and being the life of a party (and summarily fired for being inappropriate at the office). Use your common sense. So what’s in here? Well for start, I have to apologize at how incredibly long it took me to get through this book. I’ve basically flashcarded (via iPhone app) most of the words in here (between 200-300 slang expressions) for my own study. It doesn’t have to be studied like that, of course; if you were an English teacher in Korea, you could throw this in your backpack, and practice a few words throughout the day (ahem, the polite ones, of course), and that alone would get you massive brownie points with colleagues, students and friends (and members of the opposite sex). So here’s a few Cultural Points that I’ve tried to extract from reading this book. Apologies to any Koreans if I’ve gone off track. Please correct me in the comments! * Age is huge in Korea, determining (akin to Japan) the way you talk to someone, the kind of language you use. Not surprising for anyone familiar with Korean `politeness levels’, but I found it very interesting, that if two people meet, and they discover they are born in the same year, there is no obligation to be exceedingly polite (as they are neither senior nor junior to each other), and upon realizing this, get to speak Casual Korean. It’s a delight and worthy of celebration. This is considered a good sign, and basically, let the good times roll! Geom-bei! * Speaking of Korean Drinking, my own trips to Korea (purely business) have all followed this script. After work, the group will go out for dinner. There is a phenomenon known as 1 cha, 2 cha, 3 cha (basically first round, second round, third round) where the party will move from the restaurant (drinking) to a drinking establishment, and later a Karaoke bar. By the time you get to the Karaoke bar, you should be very loose, and showing your true self. This is how you form a strong bond or warm connection with someone (especially your colleagues), by drinking together and having a blast. * Three Keys in Korea. This is pretty big, because anyone who’s watched 5 minutes of a Korean drama series, or a Korean movie will note, “Hm.. Lots of rich people.” There is a strong sense of pressure that hangs over Korean life, I believe, to get married, start a family, and have these three keys: the car keys, the home keys, and the keys to the office. In other words, to have your life in order, and have some property. WIthout these, men are considered marriage material. Hence all the pressure, starting from the womb, to do well in school and get a good job. On the other hand, much of this is common throughout the world, who doesn’t want their children to be successful? I think the key in Korea, is that is seems to be constant reminder, and hence the pressure is suffocating at times. The drive for money and wealth, and a good reputation pervades much of Korean life. So shape up! * When it comes to Korean Comedy, everyone loves a play on words, and some of the skits, and dialogues in this book are laugh out loud funny. There’s something distinctly Korean, the silly goofball personality, that you see throughout funny movies and TV shows. My Korean friends will kill me if I don’t insert this disclaimer: this is exaggerated for effect. Please, please, please remember, all comedy (and drama, and theatre of any kind) is exaggerated for effect. That’s why girls in Korean shows are often over the top in their emotional outbursts, and Korean men totally snap and fly into a rage at the smallest offense, and a huge brawl breaks out. This is meant to be funny, and Korean comedy does this very well. Normal life, and normal people, are just that, very moderated, and very reasonable people. But that wouldn’t be any fun to watch on TV, now would it? I know my Korean teacher doesn’t approve of this book, but I don’t care. Eventually, we have to bring our personalities out in our language study, and with this book, you have all the tools to do so. Whether you choose to be playboy, a computer geek, a princess, a gangster, a cranky ajumma, or a salaryman, is up to you ????

★★★★★ 5.0 out of 5 stars A Rat’s Review
by J.W. Atkinson
Forget the textbooks! This is what the kids are REALLY saying on the streets. This is a well thought out, well laid out, and well organised text. Not only do you get the vocabulary, each page gives you a true-to-life dialogue along with the background and origin of each slang term. Full credit to the authors. Use some of these gems with your Korean friends and you’re sure to raise more than a few eyebrows ????

★★★★★ 5.0 out of 5 stars Great for slang and colloquialisms
by Chris Backe
No doubt you’ve seen this on bookshelves before – I vaguely recall taking a look at it quite some time ago, before I felt comfortable with trying to parse Korean sentences. I meant to come back to this book, and finally have the opportunity to enjoy it for real this time. This is not for the absolute beginner – for that, I humbly recommend my own book, Korean Made Easy (where no previous knowledge is assumed). If you’re comfortable with throwing out basic requests like ” ” ”’! or understand there’s a difference between using ”’ and ”’, this will cement the basics, add on more vocabulary, and offer lots of slang to boot. Once you get started, it’s fairly clear that the slang is the focus here, displayed in big red letters. They’re organized according to Korean alphabetical order (‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, and so on) – another thing to assist the beginners and more natural feeling for more advanced students. Each vocabulary word gets a dialogue, written in Korean and translated into English, although there’s little to help someone still struggling with grammar points and rules. There are, however, ample translations of a given Korean phrase, especially the meanings that are intended. While quite a few of these are inappropriate in polite company, they’re worth keeping your ear open as you’re out and about. Almost all the phrases have a literal meaning and the intended meaning, and it’s often interesting learning about the connection between the two. A few difficulties mar the book. A couple of warnings for graphic or sexual language are either misplaced or missing altogether. It’s not something you’d want your kids to see you reading, unless you like answering awkward questions. Also, the dialogues tend to transliterate – not translate – the vocabulary word. I’m not sure if that’s more helpful to a serious learner, but it makes it a bit more difficult to read for this casual reader. While the book offers synonyms for most of the vocabulary words, less than half are translated. Perhaps one way to use the book is as a quick one-a-day lesson – perhaps as a morning thing, or even a bathroom reader – that might help you learn something. The occasional tongue-in-cheek references to Korean political figures are funny to laugh at if you’ve been around the country for awhile, but aren’t necessary to get a lot out of the book. The dialogues between other characters (Batman and Robin, for example) created more than a few chuckles along the way. The appendix and index are helpful in their own ways, the former being an excellent place to bone up on your dirty Korean and the latter being the Cliffs Notes with basic meanings. Recommended, if you’re ready to go beyond basic or polite Korean.

★★★★★ 5.0 out of 5 stars Hilarious and helpful
by Laura E Zatson
While I’m not planning on traveling to Korea anytime soon, I did live and grow up in a neighborhood with a lot of Korean immigrants. I always try and say a few words when I’m at a restaurant and the like…I got this book as a Christmas present (not QUITE as delicious as bul go gi, but still, quite fun) from my brother and although it doesn’t have any language that will help me order at restaurants, the words in here are hilarious! I picked up a few choice phrases for when I’m being teased (or think I’m being teased), but mostly this is just a fun insight into Korean culture, and a good bathroom read. Plus, it explained why I got poked in the butt by a kid once while walking home!

★★★★★ 5.0 out of 5 stars Hilarious and entertaining!
by madfordon
I picked the paperback version of this book up in a coffee shop in Seoul after flipping through it. I really liked how it didn’t just give a translation but used the word in a conversation. As a beginner Korean learner, I could still enjoy learning the words (and practice using them!) by reading both the Korean and English conversations.The format made it really easy to read and understand the word, in both Korean and English. The word written in Korean, is followed by a Korean explanation and then an English explanation. The word is then used in a Korean dialogue and an English dialogue. Even though my Korean isn’t very good, I was still able to enjoy the funny conversations between the two authors!This book also contains side “boxes” which explain different aspects of Korean language and culture which I found really funny and interesting. I particularly enjoyed the “puke box” and “feeling box”.I recently took this book to a dinner with some of my Korean friends. We all laughed, first at my terrible pronunciation, and then at the words and conversations in the book. We had a great time discussing different slang terms in Korean and English. This could be a great book to use for discussion in an English class! A hilarious must read for anyone interested in Korean language and culture!

★★★★★ 5.0 out of 5 stars Some interesting sayings
by T. Shinon
Per my “Frog’s Tears” review, I picked this book to get reacquainted to Korean (and slang). It seems to be on the same level, but maybe little more advanced than Frog since this is more of a usage book rather than a comprehension book.But anyone studying Korean or wanting to learn Korean will eventually have to read this book or something like it because Koreans use a lot of slang due to the many homonyms in the Korean language.

★★★★★ 5.0 out of 5 stars Great book, great laughs!
by Janet Merkton
Absolutely loved this book, the situations had me laughing so hard my classmates wanted to see what was so funny! The background of the phrases, as well as the cultural tidbits were super insightful, and the organization is great, it makes it so easy to flip through to find something quick!

Two Chois

★★★★★ Handy and hilarious book
Absolutely loved this book, it brightens my morning train commute with great situations and it’s energetic attitude. I recommend this to anyone learning Korean, it’s certainly the stuff you DON’T learn in school!

★★★★★ Awesome language book!
Recommend this book to all korean learners. It’s well-organized and uses relatively simple vocabulary in the dialogues. It’s a total different language learning book and it helps me to understand the culture of Koreans too||

★★★★★ Book of interest!
Not only the content is useful and well explained but the humorous touches give it its full scope. I rarely had such a good educational yet fun material to learn from (:

★★★★★ I love this book. 🙂
I like the way this book is organised. Easy to ready and understand.

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